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After defining your module learning outcomes, determine how you will assess the knowledge learners have gained, the skills they have mastered, and their ability to determine and construct meaning. The assessments below are a few examples of the formative and summative assessments that can be incorporated into an online or hybrid course. Not all assessments have to be graded or need to have a point-value; however all assessments in a course should be meaningful, contributing to the desired learning outcome.

Formative Assessments

Formative assessments are ongoing throughout a course and can be incremental or sequential, building upon one another. Formative assessments help instructors gauge how learners are progressing, how learners perform at specific milestones, and how learners engage with the material. Formative assessments also provide learners the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice, self-assess, ask clarifying questions, and reflect on their learning. These types of formative assessments can often drive instructor-learner contact, require active feedback, and trigger engagement throughout the online or hybrid course.

Summative Assessments

Summative assessments occur at the end of a course or at the end of a series of modules and typically result in a score or a grade. Summative assessments evaluate the learner’s achievement of the desired learning outcome at the completion of the course or learning module. Summative assessments are higher stakes, and often consists of performance evaluations, authentic writing assignments or projects, or exams.  

Formative Assessments


- Quizzes and Surveys

- Prompted Discussions

- Journal Reflections

- Summaries

- Write-ups

- Peer and Self Assessments

- Group Collaborations

- Case Studies

- Photos of artwork

- Videos of field/site visits

Summative Assessments

- Essays

- Research papers

- Projects

- Reports

- Recordings

- Recitations

- Presentations

- Demonstrations

- Final Exams

- Portfolios

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